13 Nov 67
Close teamwork between 25th infantrymen and gunships smashed a Viet Cong squad in the HoBo Woods recently.
Alpha Co of the 2nd Bn, 14th Inf, had moved about 500 meters outside their perimeter when the lead platoon drew heavy automatic weapons fire.
“The VC were only about 15 meters away from us when they opened up,” recalled point man PFC Caliph Bradford of Oroville, Calif. “As I took cover and started firing, I saw about five VC run into a treeline.”
Alpha's rear platoon began to maneuver to the enemy's flank and the gunships from Bravo Co, 25th Avn Bn, swept into the area.
The “Diamondhead” ships cut down two of the enemy - one of whom was armed with a Russian AK-47 assault rifle.
Then, as the search platoon moved in, another Viet Cong broke from cover, but was cut down before he could escape.
No trace was found of the other two Viet Cong. There were no U.S. casualties.
“You just can't attribute it to luck,” said MSG Alan Curtis from Lawton, Okla., when talking about his added job as an artillery forward observer with the 25th Inf Div. “It's something that just seems to click in your mind without having to stop and think about it,” he continued.
Curtis, Noncommissioned Officer-In-Charge of the 25th Div Arty Intelligence Section, was telling how the little, almost unseen things make the big difference to the “eyes of the artillery,” and keep the enemy on the move.
Having more than 60 possible kills from called in and adjusted artillery, Curtis should know what he is talking about.
“Take for example one day last week,” he related. “We were cruising along over War Zone C when all of a sudden something caught my eye, so I told the pilot to swing left for another look. I couldn't tell him what it was we were looking for because I had no idea what had called my attention to this one particular area.
“But sure enough, on the second pass there were three VC standing beneath a tree,” he said. “Thinking about it now I'm still not sure why I told the pilot to take another look. Perhaps one of them had moved a little, or maybe the shadows just didn't look right, but something told me to take a closer look.”
Artillery was called in and shortly, three more possible VC killed were added to the list.
“It takes numerous missions to make a good artillery observer,” Curtis said. “For example,” he explained, “a while back one of our rounds landed right in the middle of a jungle trail. The next morning when flying over the area I noticed a freshly made path around the shell crater. This told me to keep my eye on that area for VC activity.
“It wasn't a big thing,” he `went on, “but it's small things like this that you need to make note of. A new observer would probably have missed it,” he added.
“In all, a good percentage of the 25th Inf Div's monthly enemy body count can be attributed to these eyes of the artillery.
27 Nov 67
Gifts Donated By Children
DAU TIENG - Seven hundred “Friendship Kits” donated by the American Red Cross Youth were given to the children of the RF-PF forces defending the village of Dau Tieng recently.
The gaily colored bags of goodies contained small toys, whistles, soap, crayons, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other small items.
Each bag was given to the children personally by Red Cross Field Director Al Beardsley and Jim Loomis of San Diego, Calif. Beardsley, a hulk of a man had to really bend down low to present the gifts to the tiny Vietnamese children, some, just barely walking.
Before the presentations, CPT Tuan, Vietnamese District Chief, explained the gifts were from the children of America to the children of Vietnam.
18 Dev 67
Two recently orphaned children were presented with 17,000 piasters from the men of Alpha Co, 25th Avn Bn.
Tran Thi Rien, mother of the two children, worked in the company's mess hall. As she was coining to work on the morning of Dec. 1, from her village of Xu Nam Hung, she was killed in an automobile accident.
PVT Willard Overturf of Benton, Ill., heard about the tragedy. “I decided something should be done for her children because she had worked here in the company. I talked to several of the men and began collecting money. Everyone got wind of it and the money started coming in,” he said.
Overturf and PSG Richard Harbey of Jamaca, N.Y., drove to Xu Nam Hung and presented the 17,000 piasters to the children and their grandmother
AHHH YES - This lovely young thing is Ann-Margret.
You know, the one our gate is named after? Any resemblance is purely accidental